Conferencing helps BT leave smaller carbon footprint

BT claims that internal use of conferencing technology has helped it do its bit to limit environmental damage by cutting out 860,000 face-to-face meetings and reducing its carbon footprint by at least 97,000 tonnes of CO2.

The telco's green claims follow research conducted earlier this year by the University of Bradford and SustainIT, which studied a sample of 6,000 BT employees to analyse the economic, environmental and social impact of conferencing.

For each conference call conducted to replace what would have previously involved an actual meeting, a minimum of 40kg of travel-related CO2 was eliminated, according to the research findings.

Furthermore, each call rid the company of travel and subsistence costs totaling at least 178, essentially freeing up 120 of management time for other value-added tasks.

"The results of the survey confirm beyond all doubt that conferencing can make a major impact towards reducing the carbon footprint of companies and their employee," said Aaron McCormack, chief executive of BT Conferencing.

"Companies that embrace conferencing also give their people greater control of their time, increase their productivity and an improvement in work-life balance including a reduction in the amount of time spent travelling. The journeys that people avoid would have been undertaken at congested travel times, so it also frees up road space and seats on public transport."

Eight out of 10 employees surveyed said that their use of conferencing has increased in the previous two years, while the average number of participants involved has risen to more than 12 compared to an average of nine the previous year. In addition, the research found that 28 per cent of staff have used conferencing technology from home.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.